For the littlest guests (aged 4 and under) there are invite-only events every fortnight, while carers might appreciate the exclusive retail offers and half-price Valet parking (normally $10 per vehicle) running Monday to Friday.
Best of all, membership is free!
Mini & me Events
The biggest drawcard for little ones (aged 0-4) is the invite-only activities on each fortnight. Eastland has partnered with various retailers to create a program that will appeal to a wide range of interests.
At the time of writing, the program ranges from a glitter hair station to craft activities, sushi making, movie sessions as well as first-aid courses and 5-point car seat checks that will give carers peace of mind. Sign up to the free membership and receive details on how to book into these exclusive events.
Mini & me Launch Sesame Street Party
To launch mini & me, Eastland is celebrating with a Sesame Street Party on August 8 and 9 2019, between 10am-2pm. Pram-parking is available right outside the activation so do bring your pram to help make waiting in line a little more comfortable for your little ones.
There are three activities:
1. Meet & Greet
Kids of all ages (or simply at heart!) will be thrilled to meet the Cookie Monster, Elmo or in his first Australian appearance, Big Bird! There is only one character on the floor at any one time, rotating every 20 minutes.
Big Bird: 9.40am, 10.20am, 11am, 11.40am, 12.20pm & 1pm
Elmo: 10am, 10.40am, 11.20am, 12pm, 12.40pm & 1.20pm
Cookie Monster: 1.40pm
2. Story-Telling on the Stoop
The iconic Sesame Street has been recreated for a fun story-telling session. Our effervescent host reads a story peppered with breaks when attentive little guests are invited to join in a simple choreographed dance that helps to illustrate components of the story.
I like that the host is all miked-up so that we can hear her clearly, while the dance breaks seemed to help keep Toddler Explorer engaged. At age 2 she is content to watch our host and older kids take part in the dancing. There are also statues of some Sesame Street favourites which is perfect for those interested in taking selfies, although Toddler Explorer is more eager to get to the next station!
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3. Cookie Monster Bakery
Toddler Explorer usually enjoys watching me prepare food but hasn’t shown much interest in preparing food herself…until we reach the Cookie Monster Bakery!
At this station, guests are provided with a plate, chocolate chip cookie, icing and sprinkles with additional food colouring gels for those who wish to get extra creative and add dimension to their Cookie Monster cookie.
Toddler Explorer promptly picks up the ball of icing and starts eating it! I encourage her to spread it over the chocolate chip cookie instead. She proactively sticks the eyes into the icing before we start adding the sprinkles which I press gently into the icing. If you want the eyes to stick out more, I recommend sticking the eyes on after the sprinkles!
Those with dietary requirements may wish to refer to the station’s front desk where there is a laminated sheet clearly listing all ingredients.
Toddler Explorer is then keen to enjoy her work; she eats almost a quarter before she decides it is enough and gives me the remainder for safekeeping! Bring a reuseable food storage container so you can take away your fun edible creation.
I understand that in addition to the cookie, budding chefs get to take home an apron and chef’s hat, although I don’t recall seeing that in our visit.
If you are planning to visit the Sesame Street Party, do come prepared to wait. We visit on the 8th and lines wrap around from the event space (just outside h&m) all the way to David Jones. Friends of ours wait for 1.5 hours – but reported they genuinely have a lovely time. Staff bring treats up and down the line but there also seems to be a quiet camaraderie between all of the little visitors waiting for their turn.
Bursting with artworks by David Bromley, the luxe reception for Valet parking is a comfort for my eyes! Parking at shopping centres is one of my pet hates so the relaxing and convenient Valet parking at Eastland is one of my favourite aspects of visiting the centre. The staff are lovely and it is wonderful having the car brought right back to you either by following the links on a text message that is sent directly to your phone, or asking at the reception desk. My favourite.
Click here for more reasons to visit Eastland
Check out REALM library and Ringwood Lake Park nearby
Click here for more things to do in Melbourne with babies and toddlers
- mini & me membership is free;
- Half-price Valet parking, Monday to Friday (usually $10 per vehicle, which means $5 per vehicle);
- Exclusive retailer offers;
- Invite-only fortnightly events;
- Access to a suite of handy services;
- mini & me Launch activities on 8th and 9th August include: Meet & Greet (characters rotate every 20-minutes), Storytelling on the Stoop and Cookie Monster Bakery;
- Pram-parking available directly in front of the activation but you may wish to make sure to keep all valuables on your person; and
- more reasons to visit Eastland here.